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FEATURED TEAM MEMBER: RICH GUERENA

rich 13Rich Guerena
Project Architect and Associate at KMA, Registered Architect in California, LEED AP, NCARB Certified

Where are you from originally?
I normally just say I am from San Diego. My family moved around a lot when I was young, including more than four years in rural Massachusetts before we settled in Oceanside when I was around 11 years old. I went to high school at St. Augustine here in San Diego.

How did you find yourself in the industry, and working at KMA?
In high school I knew I wanted to be an architect, so I got a job at a firm downtown after school and also during summer breaks in college. I received a scholarship to USC School of Architecture and graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture in 2002. While I was at USC, I had the opportunity to study in Italy for a semester. Then when I graduated, I came back to work for the same company. When I was getting up to almost the 10-year mark there, I had just gotten married, so I decided it was time for a change in my professional life too. I heard positive things from people I trusted, so I ended up sending my resume to Robb Walker. I didn't interview anywhere else and it took some time, but KMA eventually offered me a job. That was about five years ago.

What has been your biggest career accomplishment to date?
After college graduation, I worked hard to earn a license as soon as possible, and soon after joining KMA I earned my LEED® AP certification. I'm proud of these two accomplishments, but more importantly, I get to apply those skills in my career. One example of applying these skills is our work on the Combatant Crew Training Facility we just finished for the Navy. I'm proud of the fact that the job went extremely smooth and we were able to achieve LEED® Gold certification, when only a LEED® Silver rating was required.

What has been your favorite project to work on so far at KMA?
I couldn't pick a favorite project if I tried. One of the main reasons I came to KMA was to get a wide range of experience and I'm proud of the fact that I have achieved that goal. Currently, I'm part of the team on the Sunroad Centrum II office building, various office renovations of all sizes, military projects, vehicle scanners, institutional and residential projects. I'm pretty fortunate to work for a firm where everyone's voice is heard.

How do you like to spend your time outside of the office?
I'm married to an attorney and we have two kids: Olivia is 3 years old and Connor is 6 months old. My wife and I practice traditional Yang style Tai Chi, and I have been practicing Choy Li Fut Kung Fu for almost five years now, although I am really only scratching the surface.
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